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Blood safety in Sub-Saharan Africa: a multi-factorial problem

Authors

  • Claude Tayou Tagny,

    1. From the University Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon; World Health Organization (WHO), African Bureau, Brazzaville, Congo; and Department of Blood-Transmissible Agents, National Institute of Blood Transfusion, Paris, France.
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  • Dora Mbanya,

    1. From the University Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon; World Health Organization (WHO), African Bureau, Brazzaville, Congo; and Department of Blood-Transmissible Agents, National Institute of Blood Transfusion, Paris, France.
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  • Jean-Baptiste Tapko,

    1. From the University Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon; World Health Organization (WHO), African Bureau, Brazzaville, Congo; and Department of Blood-Transmissible Agents, National Institute of Blood Transfusion, Paris, France.
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  • Jean-Jacques Lefrère

    1. From the University Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaoundé, Cameroon; World Health Organization (WHO), African Bureau, Brazzaville, Congo; and Department of Blood-Transmissible Agents, National Institute of Blood Transfusion, Paris, France.
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Pr. Dora Mbanya, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon, PO box: 8046 Yaoundé, Cameroon; e-mail: dmbanya1@yahoo.co.uk.

Abstract

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has set targets for safe blood by 2012, Sub-Saharan Africa remains confronted with multi-factorial issues that compromise blood safety in most countries of the region. Some of these include the development and implementation of national policies for transfusion, the recruitment of voluntary and unpaid donors, proper screening of collected blood as well as a strategy for its rational use in a setting already plagued by a high prevalence of blood-borne agents, poverty, and sometimes organizational deficits. Furthermore, the organization of hemovigilance, as well as quality systems that could monitor transfusion practices is lacking in these settings. There is no funding and global improvement of blood safety has to be cheap to be feasible. Specific solutions for the African continent need to be developed and implemented. This paper examines the current status and difficulties of blood safety in Africa and reviews available data on transfusion medicine in the region.

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